Shakur Stevenson Next Fight April 8 on ESPN



Shakur Stevenson Next Fight April 8 on ESPN

Shakur Stevenson is irrefutably one of the top talents active today. He’s so skilled that in fact he rarely loses a third of a round, let alone a whole frame. You can see if Stevenson can get tested by Shuichiro Yoshino when Top Rank presented by AutoZone screens live this Saturday, April 8, at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+.

It’s a tripleheader, actually, for TV, at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

In the 12-round main event, undefeated former two-weight world champion Stevenson meets Japanese hitter Shuichiro Yoshino in a WBC lightweight title eliminator.

We figure Yoshino will be the eliminated, being that his best wins are over Masayuki Ito (2-3 last five) and Masayoshi Nakatani (also 2-3 in his last five).

Shakur Stevenson back in old Jersey stomping grounds April 8 Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs) is a former featherweight and junior lightweight world champion, who returns to his hometown following last September's win against Robson Conceição. Conceição is a slicker ring général than Yoshino, who is billed as a “puncher.”

Yoshino (16-0, 12 KOs) is listed as the WBC’s No. 5 contender. In round 6, he stopped Masayoshi Nakatani, the one who went the distance with Teófimo López and into round nine versus Vasiliy Lomachenko last time gloving up.

Yoshino hasn’t fought outside Japan til now.

The 10-round co-feature pits Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson against credible George Arias.

Jared Anderson celebrates after defeating Jerry Forrest in their heavyweight fight at Madison Square Garden on December 10, 2022 in NYC (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

Anderson (13-0, 13 KOs) is a 23-year-old from Toledo, Ohio, who has won five consecutive second-round stoppages.

I think Arias gets out of the second. But I also figured Jerry Forrest would make Anderson do rounds last December.

An impressive stoppage of Arias (18-0, 7 KOs), a New Yorker originally from the Dominican Republic, will put Anderson into position for a step up in profile and pay fight.

The opener on ESPN will be a ten-round clash between U.S. Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis and former world title challenger Anthony Yigit, in a lightweight tussle.

Davis (7-0, 5 KOs) is a 23-year-old Norfolk, VA, native. Yigit (26-2-1, 10 KOs) at 31-years-old is an impressive test, props to Team Davis for pushing the issue.

ESPN’s Joe Tessitore will call the blow by blow with Timothy Bradley, Jr. as analyst.

Andre Ward isn’t part of Shakur promotions anymore. He had or has a managerial interest in Stevenson so his partiality keeps him at home.

Mark Kriegel and Bernardo Osuna will do reporting and interviews.

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.